Threes were wild--and so was play much of the time--Monday night at Loyola Marymount as La Salle outlasted Loyola, 133-118.
The 9 p.m. start meant the visitors were playing at midnight Eastern time, but the Explorers were ready to play, especially their outstanding backcourt of Doug Overton and Randy Woods, who rang in the New Year with career highs of 45 and 46 points, respectively. Forward Jack Hurd added a personal-best 29 points for La Salle, which made 18 three-point baskets.
Terrell Lowery led the Lions with 31 points, and Richard Petruska added 20.
The victory was La Salle's sixth in a row as it improved to 7-1. It was only the fifth game the Lions (4-8) have lost at Gersten Pavilion over the last three seasons.
The Explorers were second-guessed for running with Loyola in a 121-116 loss last season. But La Salle appeared to be comfortable with at Loyola's pace in the first half Monday night, setting a school record for points in one half while taking a 68-51 lead. Woods, Overton and Hurd scored 65 of those points.
The Explorers, shooting 56% and making 13 of 22 three-point shots, built a 47-23 lead. Loyola then put together a spurt of its own to cut the lead to 15 shortly before halftime, with Lowery scoring 15.
La Salle rebuilt a 20-point lead midway through the second half as Woods and Overton continued to shoot well, and Loyola spent the rest of the game whittling at the deficit.
The Lions drew to within 10 for the first time since the first half at 111-101 on Craig Holt's three-point basket.
After a basket by Hurd, six consecutive points by Lowery made it 113-106 with 4:45 to play.
The Lions never got closer as La Salle made nine of 11 free throws in the final 1:45 to pull away.